Cell phone 'One-Ring' scam hits Minnesota

MINNEAPOLIS - The Better Business Bureau is warning people who use cell phones about a "one-ring" scam.

Like most scams, it preys on the curious, but in this case, a simple return phone call could cost big bucks.

The scam is simple. People receive a call on their cell phone. It usually only rings once and typically the person on the other end hangs up before the call is answered. If a person calls back, the scammers collect.

"So you call back that number and that routes you into either an international chat line or even an adult entertainment line we've heard," explained BBB's Dan Hendrickson.

Hendrickson said it's a charge of $19.95 and for every minute extra, it could be another $9 to $10.

The calls are coming in from area codes like 473, which is Grenada, but other Caribbean area countries like Antigua, Dominican Republic and British Virgin Islands are also included in the scam.

Caribbean countries are effective because numbers from those countries look just like a long distance call in the United States.

The one thing people can do to protect themselves is to keep curiosity in check. Don't call back numbers that are not recognizable and check bills to make sure there are no charges.

"It'd be worth your while to check your cell phone bill this month and maybe look for a $19.95 charge or any charges that look suspicious and report them right away to your carrier," said Hendrickson.

Those who find a call on their phone should delete it, so that there isn't an accidental dial.

The Better Business Bureau said the scam was around about 10 years ago. They said it was effective then, but ideally will not be as effective this time around.


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